OVO casts announced for Roman Theatre Open Air Festival productions

The casts for Peter Pan, The Comedy of Errors and The Winter's Tale have been announced.

The casts for Peter Pan, The Comedy of Errors and The Winter's Tale have been announced. - Credit: OVO / Maltings Theatre / Rob Ryan

Performers set to appear at this summer's Roman Theatre Open Air Festival have been announced.

Creatives at theatre company OVO have confirmed the casts for its productions of Peter Pan, The Comedy of Errors and The Winter's Tale, which are to be performed outdoors at the Roman Theatre of Verulamium in St Albans.

Peter Pan artwork by Rob Ryan

Peter Pan artwork by Rob Ryan - Credit: Rob Ryan

Running from May 28 to July 12, the mouth-watering programme of shows at the Roman heritage site is designed to appeal to the widest audiences. 

This year’s festival will be headlined by productions created and performed by the Maltings Theatre’s in-house company OVO.

The open-air festival on the Roman Theatre stage kicks off with a revival of OVO's swashbuckling Christmas production of Peter Pan, which opens on May 28 and features music, song and acrobatic surprises.

The Comedy of Errors artwork by Rob Ryan

The Comedy of Errors artwork by Rob Ryan - Credit: Rob Ryan

The Comedy of Errors will then be set in a beachfront karaoke bar, while The Winter's Tale stars none other than the Maltings Theatre’s artistic director Adam Nichols as Leontes.

Who is appearing in the festival?


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PETER PAN

The Peter Pan cast features many of the original cast who performed in the show at The Alban Arena last December before the theatre was closed in the last lockdown.  

Felipe Pacheco is the eponymous hero, Emma Wright plays Mary Darling and Tiger Lily, Flora Squires is Wendy Darling and Marcus Churchill is George Darling and the swashbuckling Captain Hook.  

The cast of the OVO production of Peter Pan set for the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival

The cast of the OVO production of Peter Pan set for the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival - Credit: OVO

The show features at least two directors – Matthew Parker, who plays the lovable Nana and Smee, will be directing The Comedy of Errors, while Luke Adamson, who is cast as Urchin/Tootles, recently directed The Removal Service for the Maltings Theatre.

The Removal Service was co-written by Will Pattle, who plays Michael Darling in Peter Pan.

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS

William Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors will be set by the sea in a karaoke bar.

Award-winning director Matthew Parker said: “Think Brighton beach and end of pier style for our production of The Comedy of Errors.  

The cast of the OVO production of The Comedy of Errors set for the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival in St Albans.

The cast of the OVO production of The Comedy of Errors set for the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival in St Albans. - Credit: OVO

"I love this play; it’s really funny and has all the zip and pace of a classic farce but with really funny characters and lots of room for physical comedy.  

"I’ve decided that two of the characters in our production run a beachfront karaoke bar, which means that the show will be liberally peppered with karaoke classics throughout… as well as hipsters, drag queens, fortune tellers and nuns!” 

The multi-talented cast of The Comedy of Errors features Clare Bloomer, Sam Denia, Oliver Lynes, Sheetal Kapoor and Reece Pantry in multiple roles, Maltings Theatre favourite David Widdowson, and newcomers William Donaldson, Gabriel Fogerty-Graveson, Lewis Jenkins, Rosie Edwards, and Phoebe Marshall.

THE WINTER'S TALE

The Winter's Tale artwork by Rob Ryan

The Winter's Tale artwork by Rob Ryan - Credit: Rob Ryan

The Bard's The Winter's Tale is co-directed by the Maltings Theatre artistic director Adam Nichols, who also performs as King Leontes, and Janet Podd.  

“This is such a wonderful play,” says Janet.  

“Like so much Shakespeare it encompasses the human experience: devastating jealousy, redemption, joy and while there are highly comic scenes there are scenes of tragedy too.  

"And there are two distinct worlds – those of Sicilia and Bohemia which will be specifically distinguished in our production through set design, costume and performance.  

"Adam and I have co-directed before and I also directed him in The Crucible. It really works for us; there’s collaborative process and we trust each other’s instincts.”

The cast of the OVO production of The Winter's Tale set for the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival in St Albans.

The cast of the OVO production of The Winter's Tale set for the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival in St Albans. - Credit: OVO

The Winter's Tale is led by Adam Nichols as Leontes, and Adam’s real-life son Finn Nichols plays Leontes’ son Mamillius.

Matt Betteridge plays Polixenes, Guido Garcia Lueches is Antigonus/Autolycus, Sam Claridge and Emilia Harrild play Florizel and Perdita and the Maltings Theatre’s regular company members Will Pattle, Emma Wright, Lucy Crick and Anna Franklin round off the cast.  

Fans of the Maltings Theatre will know that Anne Franklin recently directed The Regina Monologues, which featured Lucy Crick as Jane Seymour.

The Roman Theatre of Verulamium is in Bluehouse Hill. Tickets for the productions are on sale now from www.maltingstheatre.co.uk


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